After months of painful negotiations, a nuclear deal

Russia and U.S to slash weapons arsenals


If the treaty is signed next month, as planned, we will soon see U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals cut down to their lowest levels in more than 50 years. After months of painful back-and-forth negotiations, the United States and Russia have come to an agreement: they will slash their strategic warhead stockpiles by more than a quarter, and their launchers by half. Already, the plan is being hailed by Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Center, as “the first truly post-cold-war nuclear arms treaty.” Richard Burt, who helped negotiate the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) between the two countries, calls it “a major step toward achieving [the] goal of global zero.” The treaty now needs to be ratified by both countries’  legislatures. Critics, however, have raised concern about a yet-to-be-settled issue: the antimissile shield that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to build in Europe, but that Moscow remains vehemently opposed to.

New York Times

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After months of painful negotiations, a nuclear deal

  1. Is that the same anti-missile shield that Bush wanted to build in Europe, or is there now a new one that the Russians don't like?

    • It is a new one that Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates proposed to replace the Bush system. Bush's system would have installed a handful of longer range interceptors and their radars in Eastern Europe. The Obama-Gates system will deploy shorter range interceptors in the hundreds and scores of radars. The system will also rely on sea-based ABM systems that will operate from the Black Sea.

      At first the Russians hailed the cancellation of the Bush system. Then, they realized that they'd been made to look like fools.

  2. Like START, this treaty controls only "strategic offensive arms," nuclear systems for intercontinental conflict. Both sides are free to have as many "theater" nuclear weapons, weapons for regional and battlefield use, as they wish.

  3. they can still blow up the world several times over

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